Jul 22, 2019

Study: Immigrants and their kids founded 45% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies

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Data: New American Economy Research Fund; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Immigrants and their children have founded 45% of the U.S.' Fortune 500 companies, according to a new study by New American Economy, a bipartisan pro-immigration group.

Why it matters: The share of the most successful and globally recognized U.S. companies that have immigrant founders is growing, according to NAE's Hanna Siegel and Andrew Lim, while the Trump administration has tried to make it more difficult for immigrants to come to the U.S., often claiming that they take American jobs and lower wages.

Between the lines: Immigrants may have a negative impact on the work prospects of some U.S.-born workers, as Harvard economics and social policy professor George Borjas wrote for Politico. But they also are increasingly a vital part of the U.S. economy.

By the numbers: Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children employ 13.5 million people, and on average employ 11% more people than the average Fortune 500 company with a nonimmigrant founder, the study found.

  • These companies brought in $6.1 trillion in annual revenue last year.
  • More than half of the revenue brought in by Fortune 500 companies in New York, Washington state, Georgia and Pennsylvania, among others, came from companies founded by immigrants or their children.
  • In Illinois, the revenue brought in by immigrant-founded Fortune 500 companies was equal to 70% of the state’s GDP.

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